On this date the eccentric English author and clergyman AUGUSTUS MONTAGUE SUMMERS was born (d. 1948). Known primarily for scholarly work on the English drama of the 17th century, as well as for idiosyncratic studies on witches, vampires, and werewolves, in all of which he professed to believe. He was responsible for the first English translation, published in 1928, of the medieval witch hunter’s manual, the Malleus Maleficarum.
Despite his conservative religiosity, Summers was an active member of both the British Society for the Study of Sex Psychology, to which he contributed an essay on the Marquis de Sade, and of the Order of Chaeronea, a secret society which cultivated a homosexual ethos. Summers’ gay interests also show in his edition of the poems of the sixteenth century poet Richard Barnfield, which partly are openly homosexual.